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Berlin Mathematical School
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Get your Math PhD in Berlin

The Berlin Mathematical School

Berlin Mathematical School (BMS)

The Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) is a joint graduate school of the mathematics departments at the three universities in Berlin: Freie Universität (FU), Humboldt-Universität (HU) and Technische Universität (TU). The BMS is funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation) as part of the "Excellence Initiative".

It integrates the rich Berlin mathematics research environment and broad expertise in mathematics at the three Berlin universities into an excellent environment for graduate studies in one single mathematics graduate school. It is designed to combine many of the traditional strengths of the German PhD training system with new structures modeled on successful graduate schools at US universities which BMS's initiators had themselves experienced as doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. The program of studies at BMS is taught in English and leads from a Bachelor's degree to an oral Qualifying Exam directly to a doctoral degree in four to five years. More than 200 PhD students from around 50 countries are currently working towards their PhDs at the BMS.

The BMS PhD program consists of two phases: In three to four semesters Phase I leads from a Bachelor's degree level to an oral Qualifying Exam. The course program for Phase I covers both a broad mathematical background and the specialization required for high-level research. Phase II (four to six semesters) is dedicated to thesis research, preferably within one of the focused training programs provided by Research Training Groups (RTGs), International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRSs), ECMath, the Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs), and the Weierstraß Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (WIAS), or the Konrad-Zuse-Institute (ZIB). The BMS integrates mathematics RTGs, CRCs, and IMPRSs as certified units that provide the research environment and supervision for Phase II students. For entering straight into Phase II, applicants are expected to have a Master's degree or equivalent, or must pass the BMS qualifying exams and meet the regular admission requirements of the Berlin universities' Ph.D. programs.

The BMS offers a wide range of supervision to its students and creates outstanding conditions for study, such as the working environment at the three universities, supervision, and mentoring. Each of the three universities has a BMS area with its own lounge as a gathering point for BMS students. The One-Stop Office advises students on matters ranging from the BMS application process to visa, housing, and child-care, all the way to applying for post-doc positions. BMS professors look after students individually as mentors/advisors, helping each to find the best way through the manifold opportunities of the Berlin mathematics landscape. Women in particular find special encouragement on their mathematics career path. Currently more than 30% of BMS students are women.

Financial support is available in Phase I and Phase II through merit-based scholarships. Applications for funding need to be submitted together with the application for admission. At the moment approximately 50% of the Phase I and 25% of the Phase II students receive BMS scholarships. However, all PhD students in the BMS are financially supported for the duration of their studies. Other possible sources include the RTGs, CRCs, and ECMath and IMPRSs, TA or RA positions at the universities or research institutes.

Applications for scholarships for the 2018/19 academic year can be submitted until 1 December 2017.